Bracing for Impact

With each album in her belated solo career, Neil Young's wife grows more confident and, even better, more cantankerous. Gone are the wispy folky strains of 2007's Pegi Young, replaced by an appealingly scruffy mix of low-fi Western swing, wry honky-tonk and dusky blues shuffles. Young, who wrote most of these songs herself, is no lyrical softy, either: Her weathered soprano is a suitable match for odes to sobering up ("Med Line") and a hellacious mom ("Daddy Married Satan"). Neil shows up to blow feisty harmonica on a hilarious, grinding version of his outtake "Doghouse," about the wrath of an ignored spouse. It's fitting: You ignore this one at your own peril. 

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From The Archives Issue 1145: December 8, 2011
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